Our Mission is to bring the value of a municipally owned public bank to New Jersey. We envision a public institution managed professionally, guided by strong citizen oversight, and accountable to the public as its only stockholders. The bank will have flexibility to support current community needs and foster resilience in the face of economic and natural hardships. We promote a bank that works in partnership with local banks, credit unions and community development financial institutions to make loans in our local communities.
Why a Public Bank?
A public bank can significantly reduce the cost of public projects in a number of ways:
By providing lower cost credit than is typically available in the capital bond markets and by saving on the high cost of underwriting and insuring these financed funds
By retaining the interest paid on borrowed funds in our own bank, thereby building further lending strength of the bank to make more cost-effective loans for public needs
By lending to ourselves and into our community economies, a public bank creates a virtuous cycle of increasing our equity, saving money and protecting our resources from the vagaries and risks of Wall Street speculation and practices
A public bank working in partnership with community banks ensures that local money works locally and stays local, thereby supporting development and businesses that strengthen our neighborhoods and increase our common wealth.
How would a public bank be structured? A public bank would receive deposits of government revenues such as taxes and fees. It would be a separate agency of government, separated from political and special interests by design of its governance, with representatives of the public working with banking professionals to execute its mission of public service. Its activities would be transparent and accountable to the public. When providing credit for community needs or objectives, it would work as often as possible with community-based banks and credit unions, thereby supporting these important community partners who know their neighbors and customers – doing so helps local banks retain customers and revenues. The public bank will not compete with local financial institutions because the focus of its lending will be in categories not served by local banks.
We work with the national Public Banking Institute, and seek to work with other community banking organizations, as well as other community-minded people and groups in New Jersey. Public banking is an idea whose time has come and one from which we all stand to gain. We welcome your participation in making it happen.
How can you help? Currently, we’re recruiting individuals with strong backgrounds in banking, public administration, economics or community development to serve on an advisory committee for our group. We also welcome invitations to speak to community, civic, and business groups. To get in touch with us, fill out our contact form or phone 609-921-2149. We also welcome questions about our work and public banking in general—explore our site and check back as we post more information, or send us your questions and ideas.